Not every transportation agency can point to its most important bridge, but the Maine Department of Transportation can.
The Piscataqua River Bridge connects Maine to the rest of the nation. This bridge carries I-95 between Kittery, Maine and Portsmouth, New Hampshire. If you’ve visited Maine, you’ve likely crossed it. On peak travel days, as many as 130,000 vehicles travel over it, and tourism numbers are growing every year. Most of the freight in Maine crosses the Piscataqua River Bridge. This bridge is Maine’s gateway; it is a vital link that supports the economy and way of life.
In June, MaineDOT joined with the Maine Turnpike Authority and New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) to start a multi-year project to improve safety and mobility on the bridge. The project includes resurfacing all six lanes, replacing traffic barriers, and upgrading other structural and electrical elements. Additionally, NHDOT is making the bridge ready for potential breakdown-lane travel during peak travel times.
Currently, this is MaineDOT’s biggest and most visible project and the most expensive. The $52.6-million price tag includes many accommodations to make sure travelers don’t experience significant delays or interruptions. MaineDOT is doing its best to keep all six travel lanes open to traffic during peak periods. So far, everything has been flowing smoothly.
MaineDOT is sharing the cost of this bridge work with NHDOT and the MTA, but a significant amount of the money is coming from the federal government. About one-third of MaineDOT’s funding comes in the form of federal dollars. MaineDOT would not be able to do what this work without this funding: it helps Improve mobility, create jobs, and promote innovation. Reliable funding from the federal government allows MaineDOT to continue working on projects that benefit the state and the entire region.